What a perfect fit for the Knicks (besides the regular-season and postseason success).
NY Knicks announce the hiring of David Blatt as a basketball operations consultant. pic.twitter.com/m8eHSASaQH
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) December 18, 2019
Blatt says he’s retiring from coaching. And maybe he is. After all, he resigned as Olympiacos coach after getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier this year. (Hopefully, this new job means his health is improving.)
But this will only increase speculation New York will again change coaches this season after firing David Fizdale then promoting Mike Miller to interim head coach.
A teammate of Knicks president Steve Mills at Princeton, Blatt was a candidate for the Knicks job before they hired Fizdale. Another Knicks executive, Craig Robinson, also played with Mills and Blatt at Princeton.
Which gets into another problem. The Knicks are too insular. That starts with owner Jim Dolan, who made Mills both Phil Jackson’s predecessor and successor. It’s unsurprising Mills would hire someone he’s already close with.
Blatt knows basketball. His problem was communicating with NBA players, particularly LeBron James. Maybe Blatt will contribute positively to New York’s front office, though a regime change could/should be coming.
If the Knicks actually hire a new lead executive — whether it’s Masai Ujiri or someone else — he or she will likely want hiring/firing authority. Blatt could just be another person to clear out. He might even realize that, just preferring to get front-office experience while he can.
Or another perspective: Maybe this signals that the Knicks will keep Mills, allowing him to build up his own staff. Similarly, this could be Mills trying to make it more complicated for someone to replace him. We’ve seen that play before.